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Skeleton teams up with TalTech and Tartu University to develop flexible ultracapacitors

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, June 18, 2020
Researchers at TalTech's Polymers and Textile Technology Laboratory are working with Skeleton Technologies and the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Tartu to develop ultracapacitors with special durability properties. The project is supported by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Skeleton is at the forefront of ultracapacitor technology. Working with universities and the European Space Agency is instrumental in keeping our technological edge by pushing us to explore new development pathways, says Egert Valmra, Programme Director at Skeleton.

These new types of ultracapacitors are specifically being developed for space technology because they are flexible, light and at the same time very strong. Researchers are using Curved Graphene to make bendable electrodes, which can be made into any shape. It can be useful in applications with extreme space constraints where you need to shape energy storage according to what kind of volume shapes you have.

"The importance of supercapacitors in today's technology is growing. By their nature, ultracapacitors are used primarily in situations where a large amount of electricity needs to be released quickly, " explains Andres Krumme, head of the working group and professor at TalTech's Polymers and Textile Technology Laboratory.

These ultracapacitors are made by electrospinning and consist of nanofibrous nonwovens. The fibers in these materials are 10 to 100 times thinner than a hair. Inside the fibers one can find Skeleton’s proprietary Curved Graphene material that stores electricity and are held together by a polymeric binder. The fibrous structure developed by the researchers is flexible and up to 20 times stronger than the materials used in conventional supercapacitors. Curved Graphene has two important properties for storing electricity: an exceptionally large specific surface area (area per unit mass) and a particularly good energy storage capacity.

The ultracapacitors under development could be used to provide a strong short-term current pulse in rocket engine launchers and controls, cyclic power to satellites when exposed to sunlight, and to open and mechanically move satellite panels.

The working group has managed to turn the idea to laboratory prototype, and hopes to have the first products in the next 3-5 years with the support of ESA.

Tags:  Andres Krumme  Egert Valmra  European Space Agency  Graphene  polymers  Skeleton  supercapacitors  TalTech  University of Tartu 

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ZEN Graphene Solutions Announces Collaboration with UBC-O on Department of National Defence Project

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, June 9, 2020
ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. is pleased to announce it will be commencing a new research collaboration with Prof. Mohammad Arjmand and his team at the University of British Columbia (UBC)‐Okanagan Campus, with a $200,000 Department of National Defence (DND) Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) award. ZEN will be providing in-kind contributions of Albany PureTM materials and consultation with its technical team.

The goal of this collaborative research project is to develop electrically conductive, molded and 3D printed graphene/polymer nanocomposites as more versatile replacements for metallic electromagnetic shields that are currently in use. The new shields will be lightweight and corrosion resistant along with the additional benefits of low cost, ease of processing and improved design options compared to current metallic shields. In this collaboration, the developed conductive polymer shields will protect sensitive electronic equipment in satellites; however, the shields will also have use in a broad spectrum of applications in various industries, such as information technology, medical sciences, automotive, defence, and aerospace. The technology of developing 3D printing multifunctional polymer nanocomposite filaments will also allow for the rapid, low-cost fabrication of complex geometries of multifunctional polymer nanocomposites such as artificial electromagnetic shields. If DND elects to advance the project to Phase 2, it will support the research with a $1 million grant.

ZEN would also like to congratulate Prof. Arjmand and his Nanomaterials and Polymer Nanocomposites Laboratory (NPNL) for being awarded two additional grants. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) awarded a grant of $320,000 that will allow him to acquire the necessary equipment for the synthesis and characterization of graphene and its polymer nanocomposites. Prof. Arjmand was also awarded an additional $101,224 from the NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grant Program with support from the UBC School of Engineering. These funds will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art extruder to develop polymer nanocomposite filaments and pellets. All this equipment will be used to synthesize and characterize graphene materials from ZEN’s Albany PureTM Graphite and develop novel graphene-based polymer composites.

Francis Dubé, ZEN CEO commented, “We are happy to see the Department of National Defence investing in graphene-based technologies with the UBCO team led by Prof. Arjmand and ZEN. We are also pleased that Prof. Arjmand and his NPNL center have been recognized with the additional funding from CFI, BCKDF and NSERC. These equipment purchases will help drive graphene innovation in polymers for ZEN.”

Prof. Arjmand stated, “Our expertise in the synthesis of graphene, polymer processing, 3D printing, and polymer nanocomposites allows us to develop the next generation of high-performance multifunctional polymer nanocomposites with unique properties and complex geometries. We look forward to continuing to work with ZEN Graphene to bring these next generation products to market.”

Tags:  3D Printing  Francis Dubé  Graphene  Mohammad Arjmand  nanocomposites  polymers  University of British Columbia  ZEN Graphene Solutions 

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Applied Graphene Materials signs distribution agreement with Dichem Polymers SA, Greece

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, June 6, 2020
Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is pleased to announce it has signed a distribution agreement with Dichem Polymers SA (Headquarters Acharnes, Greece). The agreement helps to extend AGM’s commercial reach directly into the coatings and polymers sectors across Greece.

Founded in 1977, Dichem Group, has a strong history of delivering high performance chemicals to a wide range of markets including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food industry, polymers and coatings. The company’s focus on supporting customers technically allows them the opportunity to actively participate in R&D programmes to establish new technologies in their selected sector.

AGM and Dichem have an exclusive agreement that will see the two companies collaborate on customer opportunities and introduce AGM's proprietary Genable® graphene dispersions technology into the Greek coatings and polymers market.

In addition to its own commercial hubs in the U.K. and the United States, AGM now has distribution agreements with local expert chemicals and coatings distributors in Greece, Italy, South Africa and Japan.

Adrian Potts, AGM CEO commented:
“I am really pleased to be able to continue the development of our platform for revenue generation with the addition of Dichem Polymers SA to the commercial team. Having done the hard work of developing graphene dispersions as the primary route to utilisation of nanoplatelet technology, we are pleased to be able to offer our standardised product offering to the global market through a strong distribution network across a growing number of countries. We are keen to see the development of revenue through this approach from the sale of both our easy-to-use Genable® dispersions as well as customised product offerings to suit individual customer project requirements.”

Demetrios Gkikas. Dichem Polymers CEO commented:
“We are very pleased to have started a collaboration with AGM, a highly innovative organisation, with a technology that we expect to have significant growth in the Coatings Industry in the coming years. We believe that our long-standing relationships with local customers on one hand, and the high level of expertise of AGM on the other, will provide a clear benefit for those seeking a high-quality solution in certain sections of the Paint Industry. From our side we will do all we can to ensure this collaboration is very successful”.

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  coatings  Demetrios Gkikas  Dichem Polymers  Graphene  polymers 

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2D materials help prevent corrosion

Posted By Graphene Council, Monday, May 11, 2020
A little goes a long way.

A thin, single layer of graphene material only 1 atom thick may reduce metal pipe corrosion rates as much as 100 times, according to Govind Chilkoor, a research scientist at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. These new crystalline 2D materials could mean big savings to industries.

Corrosion costs the U.S. water and wastewater industry about $36 billion annually, or 3.1% of the nation’s gross domestic product, according to a 2002 U.S. Federal Highway Administration study. Those annual losses have now risen to an estimated $58.5 billion.

“All the piping and equipment used to treat water and wastewater can be prone to corrosion,” explained Chilkoor. He developed and tested 2D materials as part of his doctoral work at South Dakota Mines under the tutelage of associate civil and environmental engineering professor Venkata Gadhamshetty, who received a National Science Foundation CAREER award to support the 2D materials research for microbial corrosion research.

As part of that project, Chilkoor examined whether 2D materials can reduce the impact of sulfate-reducing bacteria, one of the main culprits responsible for corrosion in the water and wastewater industry. “Steel exposed to chemicals corrodes at a rate of 1.3 milliinch (thousandths of an inch) per year, but in the presence of sulfate-reducing organisms, it will corrode 24 milliinch per year,” he said.

Bacterial buildup and corrosion

As wastewater flows through a metal pipe, sulfate-reducing bacteria begin colonizing the interior surface and form a slimy film within 10 days. The bacteria excrete a sticky polymer substance and, as the microorganisms accumulate, form a biofilm. “If you put a biofilm under a scanning electron microscope, you will see lots of live bacteria,” he explained.

The sulfate-reducing bacteria corrode the metal in several ways, Chilkoor said. First, the bacteria pull electrons from the steel surface. Second, the bacteria consume organic matter in the wastewater, producing hydrogen sulfide that then erodes both cast iron and stainless steel.

Applying polymer coatings to reduce corrosion has had limited success. The thin plastic coatings are prone to biodegradation. “The microbes get into small pores in the coating and consume the plasticizer in the polymer,” Chilkoor explained.

Polymer coatings can also become brittle, crack and peel, which then releases toxins from pigments and organic compounds in the polymer into the water. “This can be a problem for humans and aquatic life,” he noted.

Furthermore, for applications such as heat exchangers designed to cool a hot liquid, the polymer coatings can disrupt functionality, Chilkoor pointed out.

Developing 2D materials

“With 2D materials, we can make thin coatings, less than 1 nanometer thick,” he explained. When Chilkoor applied 2D graphene to metal and exposed it to sulfate-reducing bacteria in what is known as a corrosion cell, the microbes did not attach to the surface.

“Graphene can be very antimicrobial. It can induce oxidative stress and the bacteria will die,” he said. In addition, graphene is highly conductive and will have good heat transfer in a heat exchanger.

“What’s exciting about 2D graphene is the thinner it gets, the stronger it is,” he said. “One single sheet is very strong, in terms of tensile properties and Young’s modulus.”

While polymer coatings use a filler to enhance strength and reduce porosity, 2D materials can use 1 to 2% as much material and get the same properties as a polymer with 60% filler, Chilkoor explained.

In addition, he developed a 2D material using hexagonal boron nitride. Known as white graphene, its properties are similar to graphene, Chilkoor explained. “A single layer of boron protects metal, but it is electrically insulating.”

Chilkoor and Gadhamshetty are continuing their work through the state’s newest research center, 2D-materials for Biofilm Science and Engineering Center, or 2DBEST, which seeks to build nanocoatings for corrosion prevention and agricultural and other applications. Gadhamshetty is one of the center’s lead researchers working on 2D materials and metal corrosion.

The research center is funded through a five-year, $20 million National Science Foundation Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 grant awarded to the South Dakota Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the South Dakota Board of Regents. Faculty from 11 South Dakota universities and colleges are involved in the center, including eight South Dakota State University researchers who will use 2D graphene to improve the ability of nitrogen-fixing bacteria to colonize soybean roots.

Currently, the corrosion group is using chemical deposition equipment, which accommodates only small metal pieces, to synthesize the 2D materials, Chilkoor said. To bring 2D materials to a commercial market, “we need to coat a whole pipeline.”

Gadhamshetty said,“ The goal of the 2DBEST is not only to be on the cutting edge with respect to 2D materials synthesis equipment and expertise, but equally significant is to use this research to understand and cater to the unique needs of agriculture, biotechnology and coating industry and small scale businesses in South Dakota and beyond.”

Tags:  2D Materials  Govind Chilkoor  Graphene  polymers  South Dakota School of Mines and Technology  Venkata Gadhamshetty 

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MITO Materials is Getting the Attention of the Polymer and Composite Industries

Posted By Dexter Johnson, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, March 25, 2020

MITO Material Solutions is making a big splash in the graphene and polymers markets in a short amount of time. The U.S-based hybrid-additive solutions provider received just last year $1.1 million for product development funding from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant program (SBIR) and the State of Oklahoma through the Oklahoma Center for Advanced Science and Technology (OCAST) program.

MITO Materials has used those funds to finance beta testing of their material with a number of polymer and composite manufacturers as well as development of three new products. Some of that beta testing is already complete and pilot programs will likely be launched later this year. Ultimately, MITO Materials’ graphene-enabled material promises to create lighter, tougher, and more durable products for the automotive, wind energy, aerospace, and transportation industries.

MITO Materials recently became a member of the Graphene Council and we took that opportunity to interview MITO Materials' CEO, Haley Marie Keith. Here is our interview.

Q: To start off, can you tell us a little about your main product? What is it? What applications does it serve?

A: MITO Materials manufactures graphene-hybrid modifiers for polymer composites. Our flagship product E-GO, is a hybrid of Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS) and graphene oxide with epoxide functionality.

E-GO is used in a variety of applications such as transportation, energy, sporting goods, law enforcement, marine and other consumer goods applications enabling composite manufacturers to create tougher, lighter, and more durable products. We are characterizing the product in different materials and have seen significant tensile, impact, and flexural improvements.

Our product performs best in fiber reinforced polymer systems, with this specific product focused on applications with epoxide and amine functionalities. These systems benefit the most from E-GO because we see that we increase the adhesion between polymers and substrates. We have other formulations coming in the pipeline in 2020, which includes acrylate and methacrylate functionality hybridized with graphene oxide and a more sustainable modifier created from a waste stream polymer.

Q: You came to learn of this material while at graduate school when one of the professors at your university who invented the material had approved it to be used in your business class to conceptualize a business strategy. You won an award for your conceptualization. But what attracted you to the additive? What was the hook to the material that made you come up with the idea that could make it into a viable business?

A: Growing up in the RV industry, I listened to countless dinnertime conversations about warranty issues revolving around delamination. It was, and still is today, a huge problem that affects many industries that utilize composite materials. Initial research with the additive had shown massive increases to through-thickness toughness (65+%), or Mode 1 measured in (G1c), which is the primary cause of delaminated materials. This was the initial hook that drew me into this product. I saw it solving a real problem. Sitting here three years later, looking back on all that we have come to learn about our material, I am amazed at how many more problems we have the ability to solve.

Q: Back in September, you were in beta testing with resin and composite manufacturers. Have you identified opportunities for early stage pilot engagements?

A: Yes! MITO Materials recently participated in The 2019 Heritage Research Group Accelerator powered by Techstars, which was a great platform to engage with new companies interested in testing and piloting our product. Our Head of Business Development, Caio Lo Sardo, brought in 10 new customers who are currently testing E-GO in early stage applications. A few have already completed testing and we are working toward the first large scale pilot with a couple of large players in various application spaces by summer 2020.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in working with resin and composite manufacturers, i.e. is it a rigorous process, a high learning curve, resistant, open, etc.?

A: Ha ha, all of the above. What my team and I have learned is that it’s all about the network and finding the right people to champion your cause. Overall, resin manufacturers and large companies with big R&D groups tend to have a more rigorous process and more resistance. Composite manufacturers may have a higher learning curve, but for us, it’s easier to communicate the direct value proposition. Everyone we talk to wants more performance, less weight, and easy integration, but finding your way through the web of the composites industry is not for the feint of heart.

 Q: This graphene-based additive is certainly not the first graphene-based additive to be commercialized for resin and composite manufacturers. What distinguishes this additive from the others? Is it applicable to a wider range of resins and composites?

A: MITO Materials’ additive formulation is a graphene-based hybrid additive, which is a formulation of graphene oxide and POSS. At MITO Materials, we believe that two is always better than one the best innovations come from novel solutions, which is why we found a way to optimize the properties of graphene oxide and POSS to create easy to integrate additive that does not agglomerate, is safe to handle, and provides increases in Tg, tensile, and flexural properties at very low concentrations (0.1% wt). Two pounds of E-GO can produce 2,000lbs of polymer which is enough for 3,000 carbon fiber bike frames, or enough plastic parts to outfit five F-150s.

Q: You are at a certain spot in the value chain, currently. Do you see any value in moving up and/or down the value chain, i.e. developing your own resins, producing your own graphene, etc.?

A: MITO Materials is strategically positioned in the value chain because that is where we add the most value. We are really focused on what our team does best, which is creating sustainable additives to solve real problems in order to empower the next material evolution. This company runs on an innovation model which means that my R&D team creates additives that are scalable and solve real problems, and my technical sales team Kevin Keith and Caio Lo Sardo are experts in integrating our solutions into the market. I believe MITO Materials' position in the value chain is filling a void in this industry. We are an integral piece in the middle in the map, which helps composite manufacturers and resin formulators identify the innovation they need to keep their markets moving forward.

Right now, MITO Materials does not intend or see any value on moving up and producing its own resin or graphene. Instead, we will soon release two new graphene-hybrid additives and we will focus our efforts on teaching the market about the new ways these materials can be used to solve problems at an affordable price.

Tags:  composites  polymers  start-up 

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Thomas Swan announce successful Graphene application collaboration with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd., one of the UK’s leading independent chemical manufacturers, today announced that the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) in Manchester have produced a fibre using Polyamide 6 and 0.2% loading of Thomas Swan Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNP’s).
GEIC successfully extruded and subsequently spun 1.5km of the fibre with 0.39mm diameter. This bodes well for continuing our development of graphene in Nanocomposites and shows positive traction for Thomas Swan’s commitment to Advanced Materials R&D, specifically graphene. Typical applications for this type of monofibre include carbon brushes for motors, seat belts or fishing lines.

Michael Edwards, Commercial Director – Advanced Materials at Thomas Swan said “this is yet another example of the use of our GNP in nanocomposite applications. We will continue our collaboration with the GEIC to enhance the range of polymeric solutions available for various application examples, demonstrating our continued commitment to graphene production”.
John Vickers, Application Specialist at GEIC said “The fibre reel was manufactured at the GEIC facility at The University of Manchester, using the Xplore fibre spin line. The Line can produce fibres at a speed of 0.5 to 90 M/min via a controlled Godet. The picture shows a fibre diameter of 0.39mm (monofilament) with 0.2% graphene addition in a PA6 polymer. The Xplore fibre spin line has the capability of spinning materials down to typically 50 microns, subject to formulation.”

Tags:  Graphene  Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre  John Vickers  Michael Edwards  nanocomposites  polymers  Thomas Swan 

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First Graphene - Quarterly Activities Report

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, January 31, 2020

First Graphene has continued to make substantial progress in its objective of commercialising the PureGRAPH® range of graphene products during the December quarter. PureGRAPH® has provided a range of improved performance characteristics in a number of products to which it is added.

The Company continues to maintain a strong working capital position, which will drive the growth of First Graphene with increased production efficiencies and higher manufacturing throughput, market development with new customers and novel graphene applications and global supply capabilities.

Steel Blue and First Graphene showcased safety boots at the Polymers in Footwear event in Berlin In November 2019 FGR and Steel Blue gave a joint presentation at the above exhibition and showcased PureGRAPH® enhanced safety boots. First Graphene Ltd and Steel Blue explained how PureGRAPH® had enabled the development of a range of unique boot component technologies and user benefits which have the potential to revolutionise the safety boot market.

The prototype boots have been manufactured using First Graphene’s PureGRAPH® graphene additives. Unlike competing formulations, this is available in high production volumes with non-aggregated, uniform-sized graphene; this ensures it disperses evenly in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) masterbatches.  The prototype boots incorporate PureGRAPH®-infused TPU soles and polyurethane foam innersoles and had undergone extensive laboratory testing in accredited laboratories.

Tests had been conducted at Viclab Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s leading NATA accredited and independent mechanical testing services. 

The prototype boots complied with the following test procedures;
Impact resistance
Upper to outsole bond
Interlayer bond strength
Slip resistance on ceramic tile floor with NaLS and on steel floor with glycerine
Sole crack resistance
Tear strength
Abrasion (TPU)
Fuel oil resistance
Chemical exposure (NaOH)

Steel Blue have continued to test different applications and processes, with ongoing measuring of outcomes by Viclab Pty Ltd. The collaboration led to the successful manufacturing of prototypes, and these are currently being wear trialled in a variety of working environments.

The new boot from Steel Blue incorporates innovative technology with new design solutions to provide significant improvements to safety footwear protection and comfort.

Positive Interim Results from Mining Industry Field Trials
In December, FGR was pleased to announce an update on the Armour-GRAPH™ bucket liner provided by newGen to a major Pilbara iron ore producer.

newGen had provided an Armour-GRAPH™ bucket liner to a major iron ore  producer for trial which contained PureGRAPH®20. The bucket had been in use for in excess of 12 weeks at the time it was inspected by the client for assessment of wear, with very pleasing results. The next assessment is due to be undertaken in January.

Preparations were underway to trial PureGRAPH® enhanced materials in equipment used by a second iron ore producer.

Continued Growth in Customer Engagement
Customer growth continued apace during the December quarter, with engagements in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia markets. The Company’s focus continues to be in the development of elastomers and plastics and the composites industries as it is these markets which have the potential to generate the largest volume of sales.

Activities at the GEIC, Manchester,UK
The Company continues to make effective use of it’s presence as a Tier 1 partner at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre, where the facilities are routinely used to host customer visits and the capabilities deployed to prepare PureGRAPH® dispersions for a range of customer evaluations; from TPU elastomers to coating precursors. The UK team have developed a strong relationship with the academic departments with active relationships with the Chemistry, Civil Engineering, and Composites & Textiles departments.

2019 – A Year in Review

The 2019 calendar year has seen FGR make considerable progress as the world’s leading graphene company. The Company has continued to automate its  production process, maintain its high-quality standards and develop its in-house product development and testing platform.

Customer engagement has accelerated as a result of the marketing efforts and the release of the Company’s B2B focussed website.

There has been extensive field testing by customers of the PureGRAPH® range of products, all of which have been successful and resulted in ongoing collaboration. That this process has not manifested itself in more extensive sales is the one area of disappointment. However, as previously stated by Warwick “The larger the organisation the longer the time frame that would typically extend beyond 12 months. Offsetting this though is the prospect of larger size sales.” The Board of Directors and Senior Management team see 2020 as the year in which FGR will achieve significant sales growth, having built a very solid base during 2019.

Tags:  First Graphene  Graphene  newGen  polymers  Steel Blue  Viclab Pty Ltd 

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Robust electrodes could pave the way to lighter electric vehicles

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, December 3, 2019
One of the biggest remaining problems facing electric vehicles – whether they are road-going, waterborne or flying – is weight. Vehicles must carry their energy storage, and in the case of electric vehicles this inevitably means batteries.

No matter how many advances electrical engineers make in improving energy density, batteries remain dense and heavy components, and this is a drag on vehicle performance.

One approach to reducing the weight of electric vehicles might be to incorporate energy storage into the structure of the vehicle itself, thereby distributing the mass all over the vehicle and reducing the need for a single large battery or even eliminating it altogether.

The stumbling block to this approach is that materials that are good for energy storage and release tend to have properties that are not useful for structural applications: they are often brittle, which has obvious safety implications.

A team led by a Texas A&M University chemical engineer, Jodie Lutkenhaus, now claims to have made progress towards solving this problem using an approach inspired by brain chemistry and a trick employed by shellfish to stick themselves to rocks.

In a paper in the journal Matter, Lutkenhaus and her colleagues explain how their studies of redox active polymers for energy storage led them to investigate the properties of dopamine, most familiar as a signal-carrying molecule in the brain involved in movement, but also a very sticky substance that mimics proteins found in the material that mussels use to fasten themselves tightly to any surface underwater.

The team used dopamine to functionalise – that is, chemically bond to – graphene oxide, and then combine this material into a composite with aramid fibres, better known as Kevlar. This composite is both strong and tough, with a structure and properties similar to the famously tough natural material nacre or mother-of-pearl, and the graphene in its structure conveys both lightness and electrical properties that make it useful as an electrode.

The researchers describe using this material to form the electrodes for a super capacitor, a kind of energy storage device which can be charged and discharged very quickly.

The paper reports the highest ever multifunctional efficiency (a metric which evaluates material based on both its mechanical and electrochemical performance) for graphene-based materials.

Tags:  batteries  electric vehicle  energy storage  Graphene  graphene oxide  Jodie Lutkenhaus  Journal Matter  mimics proteins  polymers  super capacitor  Texas A&M University 

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Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, October 24, 2019
When an aircraft is struck by lightning, the results are often harrowing for its passengers and potentially destructive for the vehicle. Together with SAAB and Blackwing Sweden, 2D fab has developed new components for the aviation industry that offer increased lightning strike protection and strength.

The project, called Multigraph, was launched in 2017 with the mission to create better components for the aviation industry. The aim was to use graphene’s multifunctional properties to increase the mechanical strength and electrical conductivity of the materials used, the latter reducing the amount of maintenance required due to lightning strikes.

Enhanced strength by graphene comes with more durable materials and lighter weights – which lowers fuel consumption. What electrical conductivity does, among other things, is to redistribute the energy from the point of impact of a lightning strike, which decreases damage. Something that is especially important where the different segments attach to each other, for example where the wings connect to the airframe.

Aeronautics implementation a milestone for graphene use Multigraph, partly financed by Vinnova, is a collaboration between 2D fab, SAAB, Blackwing Sweden, Chalmers and two Brazilian universities (UFABC and ITA). The results – presented October 10th at the Brazilian-Swedish workshop on aeronautics in Stockholm – are to be considered a success: by adding graphene to the polymers used, electrical conductivity and strength both improved. 2D fab’s CEO Sven Forsberg, is pleased with the results.

– This project shows that graphene works, and that there is huge potential for this material. It also brings graphene yet another step closer to the market.

2D fab and SAAB have been granted renewed funding from Vinnova and will continue working toward better components for the aviation industry.

Tags:  2D fab  Aviation  Blackwing Sweden  Graphene  polymers  SAAB  Sven Forsberg 

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Colloids funds graphene nanocomposites collaborative Ph.D research project with The University of Manchester

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, October 17, 2019
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Colloids Group, a leading manufacturer of innovative masterbatches, compounds, and performance enhancing additives, is funding a joint collaborative Ph.D. research project with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at The University of Manchester. The centre specialises in the rapid development and scale up of graphene and other 2D materials applications and focuses on several application areas to rapidly accelerate the development and commercialisation of new graphene technologies.The GEIC is an industry-led innovation centre, designed to work in collaboration with industry partners to create, test and optimise new concepts for delivery to market, along with the processes required for scale up and supply chain integration.

Phase 1 of this collaborative project was successfully completed within 12 months. Phase 2, which is about to start, is expected to be a three to four year research project. For this next phase, Colloids is funding and supporting a full time Ph.D. researcher who will be based at University of Manchester with the Advanced nanomaterials Group led by Dr. Mark A. Bissett and Professor Ian A. Kinloch. The Ph.D. researcher will also be working with and supervised by key Colloids’ R & D people involved in the project.  

The potential benefits of 2D thermoplastic nanocomposites have long been recognized. The project team will investigate the applicability of nanocomposites based on graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials to a broad range of thermoplastic materials, including polyolefins, polyamides and polyesters, and to understand how mechanical, thermal, electrical, rheological and gas-barrier properties (among others) are affected by the production process and by the materials used.  

The main goal of this collaborative Ph.D. research project is to develop and upscale new polymer-graphene nanocomposites with enhanced properties and multifunctional capabilities that are not currently available. Key target markets for ‘next generation’graphene nanocomposite Colloids products include automotive, aerospace, electronics and electrical.

As the research project is through Graphene@Manchester, the collaborative project teambenefits from access to the extensive graphene research facilities at The University of Manchester: the National Graphene Institute (NGI), the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), and theHenry Royce Institute. The University of Manchesteris a globally recognized centre of excellence for cutting edge graphene research, building upon the published work by Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for isolating, characterising and contacting ground-breaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.

Colloids Group is exhibiting with parent company, TOSAF Group Ltd. (Booth# Hall 8a / D01) at the K’19 Plastics & Rubber exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany, which runs from 16-23 October 2019. Show visitors from companies interested in the graphene nanocomposites collaborative project can speak with technical people from the Colloids’ team who will be at the show.

Tags:  2D materials  Colloids Group  Graphene  Ian A. Kinloch  Mark A. Bissett  nanocomposites  nanomaterials  polymers  University of Manchester 

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